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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Friends And Allies Of Rome: Ed Henry Shows Us WHY The MSM Is Losing This Fight.

Today, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Ed Henry. Mr. Henry works for CNN, and needless to say, he was quite non-forthcoming in this interview. Now, I was unable to listen to the interview in it's entirety, which is why I've had to rely on the transcription genius of Generalissimo Duane. But before I get to the transcript, I'd like to cite what Hugh had to say after the interview was over.

CNN's Ed Henry was my guest on tonight's show. He had been scheduled for yesterday, but cancelled. He was scheduled for tonight's show for the first two segments of the third hour --a total of 20 minutes of air time. He tried to cancel again, but yielded when I pointed out I had cleared the time and had promoted his appearance. The topic was to be the CCN's coverage of the Alito hearings, the topic on which I appeared on CNN this weekend and over which Henry and I had sparred. Henry arrived for the second segment, and the short third segment, and I asked him to stay over.

Henry hung up on me mid-fourth segment, after refusing to answer questions about CNN's pervasive bias, its stacked line-up on Larry King the night the hearings ended, its failure to have a counterpart to lefty (and usually incoherent) Jack Cafferty, and its thorough-going refusal to report Democratic lies and obfuscations during the hearings, such as Teddy's reading of a parody from Prospect Magazine as though it was a real story, or Joe Biden's blatant hypocrisy when it came to Princeton.

Not surprisingly, Henry wouldn't answer who he voted for or discuss his own political opinions.
Radioblogger will post the transcript of the Henry interview and some of the audio later.

I think political folks should pocket the reply for future use: Why should I answer your questions when you won't answer those of other reporters?

And now onto the transcript. Remember what Hugh stated about this interview, and see if it matches up to what happened. From what I heard, his assessment is dead on.

HH: Ed Henry joins me now. He's CNN's chief Congressional correspondent. He's made some time on a busy afternoon to stay with us for a couple of segments. Ed, great to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

EH: Thanks for having me on. It's an honor.

HH: Ed, you and I were mixing it up a little bit on the weekend
On The Story show. And it was fun, and we ran out of time. I wanted to continue it, because my beef with CNN is that they didn't do a good job covering the Alito hearings. You took umbrage at that. I want to give you the first shot. Why do you think CNN did well with its coverage?

EH: Well, I mean...first of all, I do want to preface it by saying I felt like it was good-natured when we were sparring back and forth.

HH: Yes.

EH: And I do want to preface it that way, and obviously, I work for CNN, so it's not a shock that I'd be defending our coverage. But I'd certainly listen to any criticism you had. So just with that caveat, what I was saying, when we were on that show, On The Story, that appears over the weekend on CNN, is that I felt that a lot of our coverage was just pure, unadulterated here's the hearing. You know, basically, Wolf Blitzer was doing a special edition of
The Situation Room, and was just going with the hearing, hearing the Senators themselves, a lot of them speechifying, not always asking direct questions, as you know better than anyone. A lot of talk on both sides, and then they'd finally get to Judge Alito. And we'd hear him in his own words. And so, I guess maybe I didn't fully understand what your criticism was, but I felt that we, and other networks as well, I'm not just touting CNN, but clearly speaking for ourselves, CNN, for most of the coverage, went directly to Judge Alito and the Senators. And I felt like viewers are smart enough to figure out...I guess you felt that the Senators, the Democrats in particular, weren't getting anywhere. And I think that was obvious to the viewer, because the Democrats now admit they didn't really get anywhere, and I think just showing it in its purest form, live, without our commentary, but just live, I think that showed it for the viewer.

HH: My argument is, talking with Ed Henry from CNN, is that if Senators make stupid arguments that are obviously stupid, or hypocritical, then reporters ought to report the obvious inaccuracy, or the obvious hypocrisy. For example, Ed Henry, at the end of the many conversations about unitary executive, do you think the Democrats made a good point?

EH: Well, I mean, first of all, I do want to say as well that I disagree with what you're saying of what the role of a reporter is. I mean, it's not for me to judge whether or not the Democrats are right or wrong, or the Republicans are right or wrong. I'm there as a reporter. I was on the scene there saying here's the arguments they're making. Now I feel like I can offer, as a reporter, this doesn't appear to really be getting anywhere, but it's not for me to make a judgment as a reporter. I don't make judgments about whether or not they're "getting anywhere." To answer your question directly, I feel that without making a judgment, clearly they weren't getting anywhere on a whole range of topics, because I think Judge Alito was doing a pretty skillful job, and I'm not making a political judgment as to whether he's good or bad, or right for the Court or wrong. He's pretty skillful in answering their questions, and really pushing back. And I was struck by the fact that before these hearings, the White House was nervous that Judge Alito might not be up to the task. I mean, this was not his bailiwick. He was not as polished as Chief Justice John Roberts. I mean, by...his own allies say that, not my judgment. And by the end of these hearings, I think he showed himself to be pretty skillful...

Nice try to spin away from the question. Hugh asked him that as a reporter, should he not report an inaccuracy made while the hearings were going on. Clearly, the Democrats made mistakes, left and right, in these hearings. The unitary executive issue was one, Ted Kennedy's berating Judge Alito over his CAP involvement and Vanguard were two more, and Joe Biden's attacks regarding CAP and the executive branch (when he wasn't bloviating about Princeton) were just two more. The point is that no one in the MSM--not even the vaunted CNN--decided to make a judgment call, and on their useless talking heads shows, call these senators on that. He completely dodges the question.

HH: But Ed Henry, if the Democrats misrepresent something, A) do you have the ability to spot it, and B) would you reveal it to your audience?

EH: Yeah, absolutely. In that case, sure. I don't feel that's a judgment. I agree with you, if you're saying look, somebody says an inaccuracy, oh, heck yeah. As reporters, you're not making a judgment, you have a duty, if you know that. Now in some cases, someone on either side, not just the Democrat, might make an argument that's wrong, and I might not have the particular case law in front of me to immediately say that's wrong. And I think if you're trying to say that some of the blogs, including yourself, you were able to quickly able to cite a specific case law, and were able to shoot down an argument, more power to you. That's great. But one of the things we were going back and forth on over the weekend, that I only briefly touched on, is that you, I think, you made the claim that I and other reporters did not in real time report the fact that the Democrats were not telling the truth about these documents, just shifting gears on the Princeton matter, the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. And what I was trying to say, and I'll repeat it, is that in fact, in real time, I went on the air and noted, as I believe you did on your blog, that the New York Times looked at these documents last November, and published a story that said there's really no smoking gun there. And so I think you tried to say that on...it took a day for CNN and others to report that there was nothing in these documents. And it's true that the next day, when Specter, the chairman, came out and said there's nothing there, we've inspected it, we reported it then. But also...

The point though that in real time, CNN didn't move on this issue, or any other issues. They waited, almost like waiting for confirmation from Specter that nothing was there, and let the accusation fester for 24 hours. Knowing what we know about the senior swim...er, senator from Massachusetts, 24 hours is enough time to get the "borking" process started. Had he been allowed to usurp the authority of the committee from Specter (and kudos to Specter for putting the blowhard in his place) we would have likely seen Anite Hill dragged out of mothballs just to slam Judge Alito. But, CNN didn't do anything. They mentioned the New York Times piece as a side note, and quickly moved on. I know. I watched their coverage. It was terrible.

HH: Ed Henry, let me interrupt you. Do you believe...

EH: ...On Wednesday, we did report that...

HH: But Ed Henry, do you believe that there was nothing to that argument?

EH: Well, I think that's kind of a bold statement saying nothing at all to the argument. Clearly, the Democrats had concerns about his membership in that organization. Frankly, I don't think anyone's completely clear on what the organization did and did not do. Clearly, there were charges flying around, some true, some untrue.

Which true ones would those be, Ed? Judge Alito didn't belong to the eating clubs. He received no special privileges. Yes, he was a member, but as Specter pointed out--after an extensive search of the records that Kennedy wanted subpoenaed--Judge Alito's sole connection to CAP was his membership, and to Judge Alito, it was worth it if it got the ROTC back on the campus. THAT was the subject he was involved with, not the minority and female positions CAP struck.

HH: What were true? I don't think there was a true statement made about CAP, and that's what I'm talking about. I'm getting right to the heart of it now, As opposed to unequivocally denouncing that argument as a false hit job, smear campaign, you folks equivocate, when it's clearly not equivocal.

EH: No, well, the White House allies were saying, and acknowledged that in fact, that the group was trying to push back on quotas for...and that's their word, for women and minorities. Now the Democrats, I think, were trying to push that further in saying that it was actual discrimination...

No, the Democrats were trying to hang the albatross around his neck that he thought the same way the other CAP members thought, and then called him discriminatory. That's not what he was involved with. And for the Democrats to say that to be a member of a group means you subscribe to everything that group believes is malarkey. It's sort of like being in the GOP. Yeah, I'm a Republican, but I don't believe everything the president is doing is right for the country. However, I KNOW he's better than Mr. Tall Tales, John Kerry.

HH: But they were trying to link him specifically to that group, and he was never linked to that group, as the documents showed, Ed Henry.

EH: No, no, no. I think, see I think, no. I think you're wrong there. What the documents show, and what I reported, and others reported, is that the documents showed that Judge Alito, according to these documents anyway, there may be other documents we haven't seen. But the documents that Senator Kennedy wanted, and eventually got, showed that Judge Alito was not an active member, was not, you know, in the middle of their leadership. He did not attend their board meetings. He was not on their advisory committee, et cetera.

No, he was involved in one issue. 1 ISSUE. "Give me a ping, Vasily; one ping only." That issue was that he wanted the ROTC program brought back onto Princeton's campus. They had been driven from it in the wake of the Vietnam war, and Princeton continued to make life difficult for the students who were in ROTC as they had to leave campus to attend the meetings, and Judge Alito mentioned that at one point, the kids weren't getting credit for it. It was a mess. Judge Alito, having a high regard for the military (which is more than I can say for the Democrat senators on the Judiciary Committee) wanted to change that policy. That's why he was involved with CAP. And my guess is that once ROTC was back on campus, he walked away from CAP the same way Sen. Kennedy stumbles out of Owl Club meetings.

HH: And so the charges of racism and sexism...

EH: Well, no, hold on. Let me just finish up...

HH: ...and they couldn't be real.

EH: No, no, no. But hold on. You made a statement a moment ago, saying that the idea that he was a member of this group wasn't true. Judge Alito himself did put on his job application by point of fact in 1985 with the Justice Department, that he was a member. And that's where I think the Democrats were saying look, you put it down. Now we don't really know, none of us know, even now, exactly, including Judge Alito, because he said he can't remember, how active of a member he was, and why he put that down. But I think you have to be fair to the Democrats to point out that by point of fact, the reason whey this whole argument started is that Judge Alito himself put it on his job application that he was a member of the group. Now Senator Kennedy was trying to push it, and suggest he was an active member.

HH: Wrongfully, correct?

EH: I think...

HH: Wronfully push it?

EH: I think it was wrong to say that he was an active member, or that these documents would show that he was, you know, at the center of their efforts, or however you want to put it. By point of fact, the Democrats and Republicans, on a bipartisan basis, at the end of the day, said we looked through the documents at the Library of Congress, and these documents do not suggest Judge Alito...

Sen. Kennedy made the mistake of lumping Judge Alito into the mix. And I fault Sen. Kennedy for not doing his homework. (BS, really, because he has a staff that does that, and surely one of them reads the New York Times.)He went after Judge Alito because that is all they had. It's all he had. They went after him on CAP, on Vanguard, on his opinions regarding Roe, and presidential powers. But it was mainly what they thought they could hang him on which was CAP and Vanguard. They couldn't. So they spun it. They basically lied, and because MSM outlets like CNN, and ABC, and CBS, and NBC, and MSNBC didn't call the senators on it, they enabled them to continue. They can't deny that. Every chance there wasa recess there were thirty microphones and ten cameras in the faces of the senators. Any reporter could have called Kennedy, Biden, Schumer, or Leahy on their comments, and requested an explanation. No one did.

HH: Ed Henry is my guest. I'm hoping to keep him one more segment after this, since we missed our opening segment this hour. Ed, first question. Have you heard Joe Biden's speech at Princeton from 2005, where he talks about how much he loves Princeton?

EH: I've read about it, but honestly, I was not there, and I did not see the entire transcript. But I've seen reports about it, and I think that seemed to contradict a bit some of his other comments about Princeton during the hearings.

Contradict a bit? Biden played the role of John Kerry better than Kerry did in 2004. On Day One, he hated Princeton, and rambled on for 30 minutes about how much he disliked Princeton. Day Two, the story changed. He even brought in a Princeton baseball cap to the hearings. He flip-flopped, and I'm betting it's because of the sound bite that was found and played by Hugh Hewitt, and a whole host of others that basically showed an opposing view to his hatred of the university.

HH: And upon hearing that, did you run a story charting the hypocrisy of Joe saying how he hated Princeton, and how he loved Princeton, and in fact, his comments, which were mildly sexist, and mildly homophobic at Princeton? Did you ever run a story about that?

EH: No. I think by that point, it was pretty obvious that Judge Alito had pushed aside the Princeton issue, and was frankly speeding towards confirmation. I think that the train had left the station.

Whoa. Hold on there. So, because the issue was dead, and in their eyes Judge Alito was "speeding towards confirmation" CNN decided not to point out the hypocrisy of a sitting US senator? I mean, it's bad enough that no one dug up Ted Kennedy's records and found out he was a member of the Owl Club. (Maybe he should have also been a member of AAA.) But they decide to push aside the hypocrisy issue. Was it not the media who, during the Ken Starr investigation, that was trying to dig up dirt on Ken Starr. They sure were in a hurry to locate some hypocritical dirty laundry there, but God forbid they call the plagerist on his hypocrisy.

HH: But is the significance of Joe Biden's hypocrisy limited to it occurring in the course of a hearing on Alito? Or is he...he's running for president possibly.

EH: Yeah. Well, in that case, it'll probably, undoubtedly come back, and I'm sure you'll bring it up again and again and again.

HH: All right. I think you should've done that story. That's one of my arguments. Now I want to go to the NSA wiretaps. Have you read United States V. United States District Court, where the Supreme Court talks about Article II authority to order these sorts of taps?

EH: I'm...not that specific case, no.

HH: How about In Re Sealed Case, 2002, where the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court talks about the same thing?

EH: I mean, again, I've read enough that I know what we're talking about. Which specific part? Or what...

Wouldn't someone need to have reviewed those cases before speaking on the subject of the NSA Surveillance? I know I did. So did Marcie. And so did any other blogger out there--the ones defending the president's decision--that wanted to speak about it from an educated point of view.

HH: Well, my point is that in the course of these hearings, Democratic Senators repeatedly misrepresented the law. And I never saw CNN do a report that said in this case by the Supreme Court, and this case by the FISA Appeals Court, the Democratic propositions are explicitly either contradicted or set aside as not appropriate. Did you ever do a story like that?

EH: No. I didn't even really see that pushed back from the Republican side during the hearings, Hugh, so I'm not really sure that that argument was clear in real time, that is was a misrepresentation. I mean, I'll have to double-check even whether it was.

HH: Well, again, I guess...are you saying you're job is simply to report the they said, he said? Or do you have an independent duty to go out and learn stuff?

EH: No, of course you have an independent duty, Hugh. I don't really understand where you're taking this, I guess.

He's trying to show you knuckleheads why you keep losing this fight between yourselves and the New Media. Those in talk radio do research, and come to their shows prepared. The same goes for FOX News. Bloggers, likewise, do this in kind, but bloggers delve a bit deeper. They ask they probing questions. The "things that make you go...Hmmm?" We're better at it that the MSM is. We're better, quicker, and more accurate than a fair amount of MSM reports. That's the point he's trying to make. You can't just sit in your own little bubble, safe and protected, and only comment on what you know. It's called research, and you do it in regard to topics you may not entirely be familiar with.

HH: Well, where I'm taking it is if...when Democrats sit up there and say palpably wrong things, and if Republicans did the same, I expect CNN, one of the major networks, to call them on it. Do you think that's part of your job?

EH: Of course, and in fact, we did. I mean, Hugh, I guess, you're really not...I mean, again, we talked about it over the weekend, and I've repeated tonight. I've given you a specific example about the Princeton document. As soon as this was being debated back and forth, in real time, I and others, at other networks, other reporters were posting on the web, the fact that the New York Times had gone through these documents in November, and had found nothing, you know, close to a smoking gun, and the whole argument that Kennedy was seeking these documents, saying that there was something in there, and what not, in real time, we were debunking that. So yeah, of course we're independent.

Obviously not independent enough as it wasn't mentioned and followed-up on by CNN or any other MSM outlet during a broadcast! Whether this was the Situation Room, or a top or bottom of the hour newsbreak, it wasn't mentioned. It was merely a footnote. And on top of it, Mr. Henry switches the subject. Hugh is talking about the NSA story from the New York Times, and Mr. Henry goes back to the Princeton document. I'm telling you it's because the man doesn't want to admit that CNN didn't do their homework on either subject, and blatantly refuses to call the Democrats on their egregious behavior during the hearings. Their "plan of attack" was exactly that: It was all attack, and nothing that focused on the judicial philosophy of a pending Supreme Court Justice.

HH: Of course. But that's one example. I've given you two other ones, the NSA wiretaps, and the unitary executive arguments, both of which are simply...

EH: Right, but I'm telling you the NSA wiretap argument, where you're citing a specific case, and I didn't have that specific case in front of me at the time. And frankly, I don't think Senators did, and I didn't hear Judge Alito say that that was a misrepresentation. I was not aware that it was a misrepresentation, and again, I want to go back and double-check that it was, because you're saying that it was. But in real time, nobody was really pointing that out, and again, I'm not even sure that it was...

Nobody was pointing it out? He's kidding, right? Bloggers have only been all over the damn subject for close to FOUR WEEKS now. We've been refuting it, and debunking it left and right, and we've been using the court cases cited by Hugh, prior presedential use of the same power as precedent, etc., in arguing in favor of the president's power to surveil foreign agents in the US. CNN would rather not touch on it too much, and focus on the continued obfuscation by the New York Times. And it doesn't matter if the senators had either case in front of them. It's their job to be knowledgeable in these areas. You don't go out throwing accusations without having all the FACTS. They didn't get those facts? Don't come crying to us that we're being unfair when WE call them on it.

HH: In real time, Democrats kept saying...

EH: But in real time, when we figure it out, and we dig into it, we report it. Of course, we do. And we did in the Princeton case that I've cited.

HH: What about when they discussed at length his speech to the Federalist Society, and repeatedly attempted to use his speech to the Federalist Society as an argument that he was endorsing a theory of the unitary executive, that basically was unlimited federal power. He pushed back from the front, saying I don't see the connection between that and signing statements. I don't see the connection.

EH: Yeah, well, I've read that speech, and he clearly was advocating a strong executive branch. I think you're right to say that he was not saying it was the sole power. He clearly in that speech was, you know, making other arguments pointing out that there are co-equal branches. But he was definitely...his own allies, including from the Federalist Society that I've spoken to, he clearly was advocating a muscular executive branch...

HH: But he was not advocating a theory of the unitary executive as the Democrats were representing it, was he?

EH: Look, that was their argument. He was pushing back. I've told you I read the speech, and he was pushing for a muscular executive branch. They were probably trying to lead him to say does that mean that then you're going off to unitary...he was saying no. They didn't want to take that answer. That's the story.

No, they were misrepresenting what he had said. That's the story, Ed. That's the whole story, and the MSM dropped the ball, and didn't call them on it. Is it the job of the media to directly call them on it? Maybe not, but when you have the talking heads shows, you don't stack the panel with nutters to shout down the conservative that knows what the hell he's talking about. The talking heads shows are where these debates occur, and the MSM has a habit of stacking the panels, and then their panel misrepresents the issue being debated.

HH: When I come back, Ed Henry...last segment with Ed Henry from CNN, Congressional correspondent. I want to ask him again, what's his job, though, because this is where I fault CNN. When reporters are covering a story, and political actors make whoppers, assertions which simply aren't backed up by fact, they've got to enter into the story and alert people to it. At least that's my view, and you're getting it fully explicated. We'll hear CNN's view. Ed Henry is my guest. Don't go anywhere, America. Kudos to Ed for appearing.

HH: Welcome back, America. It's Hugh Hewitt with Ed Henry, CNN's chief Congressional correspondent on the Hugh Hewitt Show. I've got 7 more minutes with Ed. Ed, thank you for being on tonight. Ed, Ted Kennedy read into the record, made a big deal about an article in the Prospect Magazine. It turned out to have been a parody. Did you guys ever report that he had read a parody, and had been believing that it was a serious article?

EH: No, I've not actually seen that article, and since we've already finished the two segments we talked about doing, did you say there was another seven minutes?

HH: Yeah. Just some more...you got seven more minutes?

EH: I don't, actually. I'm late for my meeting already, but why don't you go ahead. I've got a couple of minutes before I...

HH: Okay. And so, have you guys done a segment...

EH: I've not seen the article, so...

And because he hasn't seen the Prospect article, I guess CNN just decided not to address it. The fact that Kennedy was citing a parody--something completely tongue-in-cheek--as something serious is as bad as the LA Timesrunning a front page story devoted to an April Fool's joke they took seriously. And again, this goes back to the MSM not doing their homework, much the way the Judiciary Committee Democrats didn't do theirs. Either way you look at it, they dropped the ball, and decided to not call on the carpet the extreme Left on that committee who smeared a good man's name.

HH: Do you think it's necessary...

EH: No, I haven't done a segment, because I haven't seen that article.

HH: Okay. Let me ask you this.

EH: I'd be glad to look at it.

HH: Please do, because I think if CNN shows him reading this parody, then they should come back and report that he read a parody. The reason I'm taking you longer is that I thought I had thirty minutes, but I'm sorry if I'm imposing on you. Here's the key question. I think CNN's a very liberal network. I think Jack Cafferty is way to the left. I've never seen him give any evidence that he isn't. I saw Bill Maher on Friday night doing the wrap-up as the host for Larry King, along with Dave Gergen, whose an old acquaintance of mine, but he's left of center, and George Mitchell, one of the most partisan men in American, from the left. So we have three lefties, two hard left, and one center-left, and David Dreier. Is that a fair way to stack a show to talk about Alito?

EH: I cover Congress. I don't book the guests for Larry King's show, so...and I didn't even see that particular one. I saw one two night ago on domestic surveillance that included Senator Hatch on the right, and Senator Feinstein on the left. But I didn't see that particular episode.

I understand that he covers Congress, however, the question wasn't about what he covers; it was about the slant of the news from CNN. And as I just pointed out above, the Larry King show that Hugh cited is a prime example of stacking the panel. Hugh simply asked is this was fair treatment of Judge Alito. The answer, for those keeping score, is no.

HH: But having described it to you, and you know all these people. You're a good reporter, Ed. I watch you a lot. And you're one of the redeeming factors on CNN. Is that a fair lineup to discuss the Alito nomination?

EH: I have to see who else was on the show. I didn't see it.

HH: It's those four. It's David Dreier, Bill Maher, George Mitchell, and David Gergen.

EH: Again, I didn't see it. So, I'd be glad...I'll check the transcript tomorrow.

This is a clear-cut dodge. Hugh listing who was there. It's pretty obvious what this show entailed. It was going to be an assault on Alito, and it's all due to the fact that the Democrats on the committee got zero traction against him. As the MSM has done in the past, they tried to give them a helping hand by spinning the nominee. I saw bits of the Larry King show in question. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't fair to either David Dreier or to Samuel Alito.

HH: But given those names, does...I'm trying to be a reporter the way you're a reporter when there's a tough question. You don't want to answer, because, you know, that's a terrible lineup, isn't it, Ed?

EH: Again, I didn't see the lineup, but...and that's not what we're talking about. I was talking about my coverage, not about Larry King's show.

Another dodge. He doesn't want to address it. He doesn't want to admit that, yeah, that's a stacked lineup, and it was probably an unfair handling of the Alito confirmation hearings.

HH: All right. I'm talking about CNN. Do you think that they brought on enough conservative perspective...or let me rephrase it. Is there any conservative perspective within CNN to cover these judicial issues?

EH: Of course. You should've seen our coverage throughout the week. We obviously had conservative commentators. One day, Torrie Clark was on with I think Paul Begala, Bay Buchanan and Donna Brazille, on the right and the left. Of course, both sides were represented.

HH: No, I know you've got guests, but do you have any correspondents that are as conservative as Jack Cafferty is liberal, are as opinionated as Bill Maher was, sitting in for Larry King? Is there anyone like that within CNN?

EH: Jack Cafferty is not a correspondent. Jack Cafferty is sort of a curmudgeon-opinion guy. So it's really not a fair comparison. He's not a correspondent.

HH: Do you have a center-right person that reflects the same amount of air time in The Situation Room, talking about the hearings, that Jack Cafferty does?

EH: Jack Cafferty, again, is an opinion maker. But again, I was talking...you invited me to come on to talk about my coverage. So...

First of all, it's irrelevant that Cafferty's an opinion guy. He's on CNN giving a decidedly hard-left opinion. The question is does CNN have anyone to balance that presentation. If the answer is no, then there's a problem. Second, yes, he was invited on to talk about the CNN coverage of the Alito hearings. This doesn't excuse Mr. Henry from questions revolving around other aspects of that coverage. Hugh is beating on him like a bongo drum, and Mr. Henry plainly doesn't want to admit that there is a bias. It may not be in their "coverage" of the hearings, but there was one in regard to how they presented the hearings on the talking heads shows. Just because the news people at the top and bottom of the hour don't inject an opinion doesn't mean that there isn't one presented by the network. That's the whole point.

HH: Okay, let me ask you, Ed. Are you a liberal or a conservative?

EH: I'm sorry?

HH: Are you a liberal or a conservative?

EH: I'm neither. I think my reporting is pretty obvious that I'm independent.

Dodge! EVERY news guy I know uses that excuse. The only newsman I'm aware of that has openly admitted that they're a liberal is Bernie Goldberg. But Mr. Goldberg, unlike Mr. Henry, and Mr. Hiltzik (one of my favorite beating posts), has admitted that A) He's a liberal, and B) That there's a problem in the MSM with its inherent bias.

HH: Did you vote for John Kerry?

EH: I, like I say, I'm independent.

HH: Well, did you vote in the presidential election?

EH: I'm strictly independent, and I think my coverage shows it.

He keeps dodging the questions. Hugh's trying to confirm a suspicion about Mr. Henry, and Mr. Henry doesn't want to play ball.

HH: But...

EH: Thanks for inviting me on, Hugh.

HH: But Ed, is that not a relevant question to ask?

EH: Again, Hugh, I'm already late for a meeting. We've gone through two segments. I'm sorry that we've continued beyond into a third.

HH: And so, you don't want to answer just that very basic question before you leave?

EH: Again, we were talking about the Alito coverage.

HH: I know, but I think the Alito coverage...

EH: I appreciate you inviting me on.

HH: I think the Alito coverage represents a left of center opinion that you embrace.

EH: Right.

HH: Am I wrong?

EH: Again, thanks for inviting me on, Hugh. I really appreciate the time.

Dodge, bob, weave, but God forbid he answer a simple question. He's hanging on the line here, and wasting time, but he won't answer the questions.

HH: And so you're going to hang up and walk away?

EH: I'm...again, you know, it's unfortunate that you told me it was going to be two segment, and now you've...I'm late...

HH: But Ed, you told me it was going to be the top of the hour, right? You told me from 5-5:30, which is a total of 18 minutes of air time, which we're going to cover in these three segments.

EH: Okay. Thanks again, Hugh. I appreciate the invite.

HH: You don't want to talk about your own political...

EH: (click)

HH: He hung up. He hung up. CNN hangs up. CNN hangs up. And that's CNN. That is my point. Now let me give you the background. We booked him yesterday, and he cancelled. And we booked him today, and he tried to cancel. And so I said wait a minute, you said...and I cleared it, and I promoted it, at 5:00, from 5:00 to 5:30, and Ed Henry said yes. And then today, he said no. And I said wait a minute, you can't say no. I've done this, I've cleared the show. And then I said come back for a third segment, and he didn't say no, and he comes back, and he doesn't want to answer hard questions, because that's CNN. And that's why they're in third place. That's why they're in fifth place, because he can't even get up the honesty to say Bill Maher and David Gergen and George Mitchell do not, a three on one with David Dreier, make for fair television. What do you think? How hard is it to answer these questions? I wasn't mad at him to begin with. But now I am, because he hung up. And I hope, Duane, you end up transcribing everything we said, plus this monologue, because that is CNN. And nothing they can do can change that. If you make a committment to show up at 5:00 to go to 5:30, you ought to stay 'til 5:30, and you ought to show up at 5:00, and you ought to answer every single question.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why the MSM is losing this fight. This is why they're losing viewers. This is why they're losing readers. This is why they're losing advertisers. No one wants to waste their time or their money on a product that clearly has a lot of problems. No one can deny the MSM is in trouble. Remember, it's the MSM trying to go out and bring bloggers into their news divisions now because the higher-ups know that there's a problem.

That problem is a fact they don't want to admit. There is a liberal slant to their coverage of the news. This isn't a slam, nor s it a lie. Bernie Goldberg has admitted it. Christopher Hitchens (who lost his mind recently when he jumped on the ACLU lawsuit challenging the president's NSA powers) has admitted it. Even Sam Donaldson, in interviews with Sean Hannity, has admitted it. When you have that sort of a slant--one in which ALL the facts aren't being presented, where opinion is interjected into news reports as fact, people are going to walk away. If we wanted opinions instead of news, people would be reading more Ann Coulter, Thomas Sowell, Molly Ivins, and Maureen Dowd. But we're not. We don't simply want opinion. We want facts.

This interview shows the problems behind the scenes at CNN. It doesn't show all of them, but it shows the two biggies. No one wants to admit that CNN has a problem with it's coverage of important events, such as the Alito hearings. And number two, they can't help but stack talking heads panels because they know that if they don't guys like Jack Cafferty are going to be slapped around. It's maintaining a status quo that is bad for their business and their network.

It really stinks that Ed Henry broke his pledge to participate in three segments on hugh's show. It's irritating when these self-adulating miscreants come onto shows like his thinking that they're protected; that there are subjects they can get away with answering "no comment" or dodging the questions altogether. That's not how the New Media works. You agree to the interview, be ready for the tough questions. We play baseball, not softball. The people like Ed Henry should save the softball stuff for interviews with Kennedy and Biden, and not expect it from the "Jack Bauer of the Blogosphere."

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Welcome Hugh Hewitt Readers. TY for visiting the Asylum!


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